TAIPEI (Kyodo) Taiwan is seeking to open a new representative office in Hokkaido by summer, a top Taiwanese official in charge of Japan affairs said Monday.

Peng Ren-tzu, director of Taiwan’s East Asian Relations Association, a semiofficial agency that handles relations with Japan in the absence of diplomatic ties, said Taipei is aiming to launch the de facto consulate in July or August.

“The governments of Taiwan and Japan have already agreed. Now it’s just a matter of taking care of our own administrative procedures for opening a representative office abroad,” Peng said at a press conference in Taipei.

Hokkaido is a prime tourist destination for Taiwanese tourists, especially in the summer, Peng said. In 2007, more than 270,000 Taiwanese visited Hokkaido, making Taiwan its biggest source of foreign tourists.

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